[K12OSN] Loosing access to master password

Jonathan Carter jonathan at shuttleworthfoundation.org
Thu May 20 13:18:23 UTC 2004

Alan A Hodson wrote:

> Hi gang
> The unthinkable happened. Somehow I lost the root password to a new 
> system, and I am facing the daunting task of having to reinstall 
> everything... No files need to be saved, BUT, the question arises, 
> what if the system is hacked and your root password changed? What 
> security options are there? - I am thinking a boot disk with root 
> login with no pwd or some such emergency app, something like the 
> Install OSX CD in Macs, where one of the choices is change passwords 
> (being linux based, one of our gurus ought to be able to reverse 
> engineer the process...)
> Cheers
> Alan Hodson
> El Paso ISD, TX
> -=o=-

Hi Alan,

Your K12 CD's do have such functionality. When the Fedora logo pops up 
when you boot from CD1, type in 'linux rescue' and press enter. Later 
on, your system will be mounted under /mnt/sysimage (or something like 
that). Then you just type 'chroot /mnt/sysimage', and then 'passwd 
root', enter your password and your system is saved.

Another option is booting into single user mode, or booting off another 
system (such as knoppix) and editing your passwd file from there. There 
are really many methods, and they're all very educational (or at least 
they were to me).


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